Today I have a fabulous Friday Feature:) Kathy Cousart. Kathy and I have never met in person but I feel like we have. She is warm and caring and wonderfully talented. In the last couple of years she has completely transformed herself and left one career and become a successful full time artist. She is also a frequent co-host of Artists Helping Artists blog radio show.
To see more of Kathy's work visit her website.
|"Hydrangeas" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
How did you get your start?
I hate to admit that I needed a painting over a double mantle fireplace and just could not find anything that size. The more I looked the more I loved oil paintings and wanted to try. I had no idea what I was getting into!
I started painting almost 2 years ago and have loved every minute. I have been so lucky to have some of the best teachers out there who have just encouraged and guided me. I sort of jumped into it all backwards and am learning to paint right along with blogging and the business side. Nothing like total immersion! I really work hard and want to get all the fundamentals right and be what I would call a fine artist. I hope one day that my paintings touch people the way that I feel when I look at a beautiful painting.
Where were you born?
I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina- my hometown now is Athens, Georgia.
|"Hydrangeas, Cotton Bolls, and Tulips" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
If you could live anywhere where would you live?
I used to say Saint Simon’s Island- now just anywhere with Husband Dave and near our two daughters and their families.
|"UGA III National Championship Bulldog Surprise" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I love to paint anything that has interesting light on it! I really like landscapes but have been having fun with flowers lately. Gotta say also that my Georgia Bulldogs (mascot) are just plain fun to paint. Maybe because I am so new I just want to paint everything. I do know I am alla prima- and that I like to change it up.
Could you talk about your painting techniques?
I paint with a limited palette of just the 3 primaries and titanium white. I enjoy mixing my own colors and love the harmony that you can achieve with that. I am also finding that I am learning so much more with doing that and can work on values and temperatures better. I got spoiled painting on linen and love the toothy surface and the way my paint goes on the linen.
|"Saint Simon's Island Marsh" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
How did you arrive at your current style?
I was told early on that I needed to have miles of canvas behind me and a ton of starts. I have really put in the time painting to learn and can see that coming together. I hope my current style comes across as big beautiful bold brushwork with gorgeous clean color.
I have too many favorites! Who has been your biggest inspiration? I am going to say all my workshop teachers have been the biggest inspiration- Each in a different way.
Karin Jurick for saying early on I could do this,
Dreama for sayng to launch where you are and find your voice.
Leslie Saeta for the warm enthusiasm and total belief that sharing my art would work out, Carol Marine for just teaching me fundamentals in such a fabulous fun way,
Nancy Franke for teaching the most gorgeous brushwork and colors with such a fun spirit and always giving me too much credit and finally
I got to join Jim’s mentoring group and that has made such a difference in my growth as a new artist. Having the gentle but honest consistent critiques and wonderful teaching has been inspirational and invaluable. I feel so fortunate to have met and learned from such talented teachers…Now you see why I could not pick just one. They have all been an important part of my journey.
|"Sunlit Hydrangeas in Window" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
You have done a fabulous job of marketing yourself, with a new website and blog. Can you tell us a little about that journey?
I started blogging after Karin Jurick’s workshop when she told us to and I listened. Great way to meet other supportive artists and to learn from them. A few months ago, I decided it was about time for a website and actually built one myself on iWeb. That helped me make a lot of design decisions and get organized as to how I wanted it to be. That was a really good process to get me ready to really move ahead and go with WordPress. I like that the website and blog are combined and that it looked clean and easy to navigate. It was important to me to be able to manage it and I have been really happy with WordPress.
|"Shrimp and Grits" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?
I take care of two Moms and need to know they are fine and then I feel free and able to take that time for me to paint. Once I know they are good- I don’t think I am too picky- just want to get in time painting and will paint anything-anywhere. I really work hard to carve out that time at the easel.
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
I tend to like higher key paints and colors. I am not talking about bright loud saturated colors but soft lighter pale colors that all just look so gorgeous next to each other. There is that harmony thing I was talking about with mixing your own colors.
|"UGA Golf Course 9th Green" by Kathy Cousart oil on linen|
What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
That my husband and I are both retired and able to travel a bit.
That my art career has gotten to where my paintings fall consistently into the fine art category.
That I am in at least one big Gallery and my paintings just fly off the walls.
That I am good enough to be in some shows and gain recognition as a big girl artist. Ex:Perhaps asked to join a plein air group like PAP-SE.
And that I am good enough to be able to teach and mentor/give back some of the fabulous things I have learned.
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
To have fun and be honest with where you are with your art. I try to use my blog to share things I am learning along the way. I think art is like golf in that your fundamentals need to be really sound to build off of then. Make sure to get those correct and learn from good teachers who can zero in on your weaknesses.
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
That with hard work I can become a really good oil painter and do something with this.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!
Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat? Sunny Beach!
Book or movie? Book
Favorite author? Anything Art related
Favorite movie? Any movie with daughters-girl time!
Favorite ice cream flavor? Turtle Tracks
Night owl or morning person? Morning
Cake or Cupcakes? Cake- I make this killer triple layer chocolate mocha cake with real whipping cream
Thanks Carrie- I enjoy your Friday Features and happy to be one :)
Thank you Kathy you are an inspiration:)